College students: Make money fast with our summer job guide
Now that you've finished finals and relaxed for a few days, you're probably on the hunt for a job -- but not just any job. Once classes resume in the fall you're going to be busy, and you'll need to free up your schedule again.
That's right: you are looking for a summer job, one that you can work from now until the end of August, without having to quit on the spot and leave your employer hanging.
There are plenty of jobs you can take over the summer, but some of them cater to a student's schedule better than others.
To help, Money College created a list of ideas for summer jobs. These are suggestions to get you started in your search. Of course, it is always possible to take a job at a restaurant or get an internship and inform your employer ahead of time that you will be attending school in the fall. And there are always local businesses looking for summer help.
1. Landscaping. Get your hands dirty this summer, along with your clothes and everything else you put your paws on. With a landscaping job, you will likely learn both about horticulture and elements of design. However, some may argue that landscaping can be a dangerous and physically taxing job -- so enter at your own risk. The upside? Skilled, reliable landscapers can pull down better money when gardening and growing seasons go full tilt. Look for landscaping jobs here.
2. Nanny/Manny. It used to be that nannying jobs were only for the ladies. But in today's world, mannies (or male nannies) are hot stuff. If you like kids, this is a great job. Sit in someone's air-conditioned living room and build a fort with the little ones while watching episodes of "Blue's Clues." Nothing is better than acting like a kid again, other than getting paid to do it. And trust us on this: reliable, careful sitters who go the extra mile and teach kids arts and crafts, or a second language, can name their price in many urban areas and well-heeled college towns. Here is a resource for finding sitter jobs.
3. Construction. Even though there are more construction jobs for women than ever before, and despite the fact that I really hate to make gender distinctions, here is a job idea mainly directed toward able-bodied boys who want to work up a good sweat in the summer heat. The economy's picking up, so expect the construction job market to be healthy, as this sector usually leads all others in recovery. Search for construction jobs.
4. Summer camp. Everyone's seen a movie about a fun summer camp experience and it's made you giddy to get a gig. My personal favorite is of course "Wet Hot American Summer" -- but I would not encourage anyone to behave like the counselors in this flick. To be a good counselor, one should be responsible, self-motivated, and have a good rapport with kids. And contrary to what you might think, now's an excellent time to look, as short-handed camps will want to hire help as soon as possible. Look for summer camp jobs.
5. Theme park. If you've ever seen "Adventureland," this movie asserts that you can not only earn some quick cash working at an amusement park over the summer, but you can also move to New York and score with a love interest you meet at the park. I'm sure that could be true of any summer job, but c'mon: Working at an amusement park has to be like a party. I'm sure you have to really pay attention to what you're doing, though: No falling asleep at the ferris wheel. That said, these jobs can extend beyond the seasonal demand if you find a park that, for example, does a costumed Halloween fest in the fall. Find a theme park job.
6. Tour guide. You can find tour guide jobs all over the world and in any niche. You could work as an architectural tour guide on a boat in Chicago, or as a white-water raft guide in Colorado -- you probably just want to study up on any given topic. Studying the tour spot of you choice is a must, and you must have a knack for socializing with people and non-wavering attention to details (release forms, for example). Research tour guide jobs.
7. Events. This includes various jobs you can take over the summer -- anywhere from working at a baseball stadium to an outdoor music venue. Depending on your area of preference, you have the opportunity to make money while attending something you love every day of the summer. Obviously, these jobs are popular, so if this is up your alley, get moving before the good jobs get snatched up. Find event jobs.
8. Sports & social club. Every city has a sport and social club -- I know of at least two in Chicago, and I've worked for both. They were great summer jobs. I organized and handed out T-shirts to teams, kept score for games, and worked an all day relay race in one case. They even gave me some office work at one point. Some of my co-workers got to work on the beach all day, setting up volleyball nets and keeping score. Getting paid to be on the beach all day? Score is right. Just Google the name of your city with the terms "sports" and "social club," you should dig up something. In many cases, the URL will be (your city name) sportandsocialclub.com, or (your city name) ssc.com. Check out the offerings in New York City, Orlando, Fla., Philadelphia, Austin, Tex. and Chicago.
9. Deckhand. You could look into deckhand positions for cruise lines, which would keep your traveling at all times. Or if you are looking for a position where you live on land and work on the boat, you can look into boat tour companies or a deckhand on a private yacht. Either way, expect to work really hard. If you don't live by a body of water, I want to be entirely fair, so for you, my 9th suggestion is to look into work at a golf course. Here are some resources for both: Find jobs for deckhands. Or look for jobs at golf courses.
10. Start your own business. There are a couple mentions on this list that would qualify under this suggestion as well, such as nanny work and landscaping (or other yard services). But some other ideas include pet care, car cleaning, tutoring, or selling items such as water, ice cream, and hand-held fans to people at beaches. (In some cases you may need a license to do this). Refer to this article for some great ideas on creating your own summer job.
If you are still having trouble, take a look at this resource for summer jobs. Happy searching, happy earning and happy end of the school year!